Given that depression may be the state of being alone, isolated, a solitary individual and suffering as such, consider that such a state of loneliness – if self-imposed – has the same meaning as sin. As such sin is not so much the violation of a legal category, but a turning back and into self. It is a violation of the fundamental metaphysical anthropology of being for and with other – of being relation – of being God. And it is not solved by going to the cleaners to get the stain on the surface removed. The remedy can only a turning away from self: conversion from the turn to self.
In this context, consider Pope pre-papal Francis:
“sin properly assumed is the privileged place of personally finding Jesus Christ our Savior, of rediscovering the deep meaning that He has for me. In short, it is the possibility to live the wonder of having been saved.”
Previous pages 120: “There are some who feel righteous who in some way accept the catechism, the Christian faith, but so not have the experience of having been saved. It is one thing for someone to tell you about a boy who was drowning in the river and someone diving in to save him; it is another to see it, and yet another if it’s me who is drowning and someone dives into save me… I often say that the only glory we have, as Saint Paul says, is that of being sinners.”
Question: In the end, it winds up an advantage for the believer. (Laughter)
“Well, let’s not forget that the nonbeliever can also benefit from his shortcomings. If an agnostic or an atheist knows he has behaved badly, feels sorry about it, and wants to overcome the situation, he then becomes a better person because of it. In that way, that shortcoming acts as a springboard for his growth. The mayor of a large European city once said that every night he ended his day by examining his conscience. Although he was agnostic, he knew his life had meaning, and he made an effort to correct his behavior. His mistakes helped him become a better person.
Interviewer: That view at least allows one to consider the issue of guilt in the Catholic Church in another way
“Definitely. That’s why, for me sin is not a stain I need to clean. What I musts do is ask for forgiveness and reconcile myself to it, not go to the dry cleaner around the corner. I need to go and find Jesus, who gave His life for me. This is an idea that is quite different from sin. In other words, sin properly assumed is the privileged place of personally finding Jesus Christ our Savior, of rediscovering the deep meaning that He has for me. In short, It is the possibility to live the wonder of having been saved.
Problem: a growing indifference toward religion on the one hand, and a strong search for religion on the other, not always through orthodox ways:
“Exactly. There is a denial of God due to secularization, the selfish egoism of humanity. And there are a thousand ways to search for God that require one to be careful not to fall into a consumer experience or, at its extreme, a kind of ‘immanent transcendence,’ that still does not result in true piety. What happens is that it is more difficult to enter into personal contact with God, a God that waits for me and loves me. The pantheism in the air, like a spray, does not last. At the end of this kind of search we need some kind of idol and we end up adoring a tree or seeing God on a tree.”
Interviewer: It is also true that many people say they believe in God, but not in priests.
“And that’s just fine. Many priests are not worthy of their belief.” (by Ambrogetti and Rubin)